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“July 12th Letter from the Shepherds”

Elder Message to Members – 7/12/20

Dear Brothers and Sisters –

Greetings and blessings to each of you! We miss all of you and continue to pray for a time when we all can assemble and be together again.

We’re sure you share our regrets that local and state coronavirus pandemic trends are very slow to improve. Be assured that each of us shares with you all of the emotions and challenges that go with these times. Please know and join us in praying fervently about this and for all in our South Bumby spiritual family. Let us all be strong in our faith that God will lead us to better days ahead.

As we stated in our last communication, the current pandemic status precludes us from any kind of a timetable for us to advance into our next phase for South Bumby. This, of course, means that returning to Bible classes and our normal worship service schedule will continue to be delayed. Accordingly, those who can meet at the building for the Sunday 11:00 service can continue to do so, while others can join virtually via the live stream. The Sunday and Wednesday evening online Bible classes (now in the book of Daniel) also continue, and Dedra Chapman, Vikki Kline and Dawn Willman are providing excellent online lessons for our children.

These are excellent tools and we are blessed with the technology that allows all of us to stay engaged in worship and Bible study, and people who give of their talents and time to make such technologies available for our use. But they only benefit us IF we use them:

We are deeply concerned about declining online numbers in our worship services and low participation in the Sunday and Wednesday evening Bible studies. Without the structure of services and classes at the building, it is easy to get lazy and distracted from worshipping and studying God’s word. This is a time when all of us need to “double down” on our discipline and commitment to practicing our faith in worship and study. Ken made a strong scriptural case in last week’s sermon for us to examine our faith during these times.

When you finish reading this message, please open your Bible and read Deut. 6: 4-9. We are exhorted to love God with all of our heart, soul and might.

A second key lesson in that scripture is about teaching and being examples to our children at all times. We also are concerned that many of our children (all ages) are missing in-home studies and lessons about God. They need some form of Bible study and discussions about God and His Word from and inside the home. We all agree that Christian parents have responsibilities to teach and train their children in God’s Word; but it’s not easy right now. Now more than ever, that responsibility rests with parents in every Christian home. Children need to see parental commitment to worship and Bible classes, even if it’s online. And the structure of participating in Bible classes and study needs to be established or re-established. This requires a proactive effort and commitment from every parent.

Please read and think about the above scripture. Then examine your own faith in this pandemic environment, as well as the spiritual learning and status of your home and family. Let’s be diligent to stay strong and faithful during these challenging times. Use the online tools being provided and/or create your own structure.

If you have ideas or suggestions about how to help our children, let us know, as we’re open to any and all ideas. Also, don’t hesitate to ask for help, if needed.

We love you and hope to see you soon.

Jim, Ralph and Walcott